Passenger or goods lifts or elevators are enclosed compartments that take people or goods vertically, up and down, in malls, apartments and government buildings. Generally, we take these amazing inventions for granted. Have you ever wondered who invented them and for what reasons? Gumtree takes a look at the brief history of elevators.
- One of the earliest records of an elevator was from the year 1000 in Islamic Spain when a platform was used to raise a ram to destroy a fort.
- In the 1700s, ‘flying chair and table’ and the first ‘screw drive’ lifts were installed at palaces of King Louis XV of France and the Russian Emperor, respectively.
- With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, steam-powered lifts were introduced in 1800 and hydraulic-driven lifts in the early 19 th century. These were popular in warehouses and factories as they helped with transporting people and goods, without any strain.
- In 1846, Sir William Armstrong invented the hydraulic crane to raise and lower cargo onto ships using water pumps and pressure.
- In 1854, Elisha Otis invented the safety lift, which prevented accidents if the cable were to snap.
- The first building in the world to have a passenger lift installed was the Equitable Life Building in 1870.
- In 1894, the first hydraulic lift with push buttons (without the need for a driver) was installed.
- By 1900, automated lifts were readily available, but they were not widely used as people were wary of them.
- In 1902, Elisha Otis invented another mechanism that revolutionised lifts of their time. He brought forth the gearless traction electric elevator that was a combination of electrical and mechanical components.
- By the end of the 19 th century, electric elevators, the first of which was invented by German scientist Werner von Siemens in 1880, gained popularity.
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